No cut to interest rates; National's economic package hits sour note; extra midwives on the way; golden twins to retire from rowing; Warehouse quits supermarket business; and more
- South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong cut interest rates yesterday but Reserve Bank governor Alan Bollard won't be making any cuts before the cash rate review on October 23. Some economists were mystified by Bollard's decision, reports the Herald, while National leader John Key said an interest rate cut was needed sooner than later.
- The Dominion Post says National is getting "a cool response" to its economic package. Proposed changes to KiwiSaver are not proving popular, with National planning to match no more than 2 per cent of a worker's wages with government subsidies, rather than the current 4 per cent. Meanwhile, deputy leader Bill English has again been secretly taped, this time at a Wellington cocktail party. He said, "Winning is fantastic. Nothing beats winning in politics, despite all our highly principled statements. It's fantastic ... do what we need to do to win."
- Eighty extra midwives will be trained each year to address national shortages and safety concerns, says the Press. Health Minister David Cunliffe launched a draft "maternity action plan" yesterday.
- Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell are retiring from rowing. The back-to-back Olympic gold medallists want to leave the sport on a high. It is just two months since their surprise win in Beijng, after a disappointing year that saw them miss out on a place in the finals at the World Cup. The Dominion Post reports that they could have a lucrative career in celebrity speaking, charging $5000 each per event.
- The Warehouse is phasing out its Warehouse Extra stores because they are not proving popular enough. The one-stop shops, which include supermarket and pharmacy sections, have been trialled in Te Rapa, Whangarei and Auckland. Woolworths and Foodstuffs are expected to again make takeover bids, reports The Press. The Commerce Commission earlier blocked a move by the giant chains to take over The Warehouse on the basis that its move into the supermarket sector was good for competition.
- Classic 80s television programme Top Town is returning. A new series of the obstacle-course game will be filmed in December and January, reports the Herald. Greymouth won the last series of Top Town in 1990.